Thursday, May 25, 2006


No Change, Not Profound

Michael Ledeen, in National Review Online, responds to reporting by Karl Vick and Dafna Linzer in The Washington Post. Ledeen goes so far to suggest Vick and Linzer are playing journalistic patsy for the Iranians, and describes their article as “reporting” with scare quotes.

Clearly, Iranian Mullahs want the American public to think that Iranian “overtures” represent “a profound change in Iran’s political orthodoxy.” And just as clearly, Vick and Linzer aim to be helpful in passing on what amounts to regime propaganda.

Ledeen contrasts this with what are some startling internal developments in Iran, elsewhere largely unreported in the Western mainstream media (MSM). And more specifically, unreported in the Post:

The announcement, via the Post, is a fairly transparent tactical maneuver, and Post readers would recognize it as such if Vick and Linzer bothered to report the news from Iran, which is that there are demonstrations all over the country, and that the regime continues its cruel iron-fisted policy toward the Iranian people.
A few days ago, following the publication of an offensive cartoon (equating the Azeri people with cockroaches) in the state-run Iran newspaper, there were huge demonstrations in Tabriz. According to one eyewitness account there were more than three hundred thousand demonstrators. There were numerous casualties on both sides. The regime is busing in thousands of pro-regime demonstrators today in an attempt to show popular support for the mullahcracy;
Last month, in reprisal for the killing of 12 regime officials, North Balochistan was bombed by government planes, and hundreds of presumed activists were rounded up, continuing a pattern of systematic repression that has been going on for many years;
In the last few days there were big demonstrations on college campuses all over the country, and the regime responded with force. The demonstrations were at least in part in response to new restrictions on political activity at the universities;
A week ago, 54 Bahais, engaged in humanitarian activities in Shiraz, were arrested and jailed, hard on the heels of raids on six Bahai homes, and more than a year of “revolving door” detentions, often with no pretext of legal justification.

As Ledeen rightly observes, so much for “a profound change in Iran’s political orthodoxy.”

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